EE Interview: Marion Freijsen of E.factor

marion-freijsenMarion Freijsen, Co-Founder of E.factor, recently spoke with me about her company and how it benefits entrepreneurs.

So, Marion, tell us about your company.

“E.Factor” stands for “The Entrepreneur Factor” and represents an online community and virtual marketplace designed for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. It grew to over 720,000 members within our first year. With both online tools & resources as well as the physical events and E.Factor Lounges – the real world relationships one has, can be maintained and built in the virtual community.

EFactor.com is a place where you can focus exclusively on making business connections, negotiating deals, exchanging information, and advertising products and services.

Comprised of businesspeople and investors across a wide variety of industries around the globe, the E.Factor community is ideal for entrepreneurs looking to increase their brand exposure, establish a network of high quality contacts, and acquire the funding needed to take their enterprise to the next level.

Interesting. Tell us a little more about your product.

E.Factor is the world’s largest niche social network. The goal is to enthuse, inform and support entrepreneurs. E.Factor consists of three “layers” – the online community, the events held globally and the lounges in many different locations (100 in the US alone).

So what’s the value proposition?

E.Factor offers a place where any entrepreneur can find advice, information, funding, deals & discounts and meet and share info with like-minded people.

What is your company’s mission and vision?

When an Entrepreneur wakes up at night thinking of a problem–we would like his or her second thought to be “Let me check E.Factor in the morning” ….

What is an example of when your company benefited an entrepreneur?

From our last event by a member: “Congratulations on a wonderful event last Friday — the panel Efactor put together was terrific! The moderator was great and the panelists were all very focused and experienced. I learned a lot about the fashion industry myself–and from a start-up perspective, the advice everyone gave was right on target.”

Marion, what is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an entrepreneur and how have you overcome it?

The biggest challenge always is to keep going, under any circumstance. For me, it took a while before I realized that whilst I was working for other companies I was, in fact, an entrepreneur at heart and was actually acting as an entrepreneur–just not benefiting myself, but others. As soon as I realized this, I quit my job and founded my own business. Everything fell into place within a week or two.

And what is the biggest mistake you’ve made as an entrepreneur?

To not follow the power of my convictions. You often know by gut feel that something is wrong and you should definitely act on that feeling. Don’t mistake it with fear though – the fear to not be able to make it, or to get criticized by others is a different type of feeling and can paralyze you instead of inspire you. But your gut feel is very important and can prevent mistakes being made – if you listen to it. In my case, we started off with a company in the Netherlands, NRG, building the site for E.Factor and they just weren’t getting it. They did not understand what we wanted to achieve so whilst we were forking out a lot of money, we then had to fork out MORE for corrections they were making. In the end, we threw out the entire site and started again. I only continued because I hoped they’d be coming with something later on that would work better…but I always knew it was not going to work. So we wasted money on it.

Are you an entrepreneur that would like to tell EE readers about your business? Click on the interview form at the top and feature your business!

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